June 16, 2017 / 9:55 AM / a month ago

EU clears state aid for Bulgarian and Greek railways

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission said on Friday it had approved public support for Bulgarian publicly owned railway company BDZ and restructuring aid for Greek state-owned railway companies OSE and TRAINOSE.

In the Bulgarian case, the Commission focused on the cancellation by the Bulgarian state aid of certain debts incurred by BDZ amounting to 224 million Bulgarian lev (100 million pounds) as part of a restructuring plan.

The Commission said it found the debt cancellation necessary, proportionate to support BDZ's operation and in line with EU state aid rules.

In the Greek case, the Commission said extensive debt cancellations, an equity increase and grants were in line with EU state aid rules, taking into account the difficulties faced by the Greek railway sector and the importance of a well-functioning service for the population.

Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop

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